Why the church needs to change its approach on gay marriage

To be quite clear up front, I do not believe in homosexuality, regardless whether its participants are getting married or not.  There are plenty of places in the Bible that condemn these actions.  In Romans 1 alone, it is called unnatural, shameful, and we are told that it is the result of depraved minds.  I am not concerned about being in line with public opinion, only in being in line with what God has clearly taught us.

With that in mind, I believe that the church has completely blown its approach on the issue of homosexuality.  We have the Bible on our side and we should NEVER abandon God’s Word for public opinion or even fear of persecution.  But the question is, why are we holding fast to God’s Word?

The prophets were instructed to draw a line in the sand of what God said.  People were either for God or against Him.  I believe that there are still prophets in the church today.  Not men and women who predict the future but who draw the line in the sand and state that God’s commands are not to be trifled with.  But not everyone has the gift of prophecy and I question the idea of whether the church is to do the work of the prophets.

The church has an obligation to declare the Word of the Lord but that is far more than just standing against the tides of popular culture.  Jesus didn’t give us instructions of “Go into all the world and tell them everything that they are doing wrong so they’ll stop.”  Our standing orders are to make disciples.  Making disciples does mean that we instruct people to repent of their sins but that comes through a process.

I believe that we have inadvertently created a mindset to the outside world that they first have to get their lives right because they can come to God.  Because the church talks so much about sin, we forget who we’re preaching to.  People outside of the doors of the church need to hear the gospel about the forgiveness of sins.  Those inside of the church need to know about the garbage in their lives that needs to be dumped.

But we’ve gotten it backwards.  How many times in the gospels do we see Jesus preaching against sin?  Jesus encountered plenty of sinners and He was never wishy washy in calling sin for what it was.  But Jesus always had the big picture in mind.  Rather than just fix the sin, He aimed to fix the whole person.  When Jesus called for repentance, it wasn’t for one particular sin but rather a general call for salvation.

The church only needs to look at its previous efforts to see how well it does to preach against sin rather than focus on saving souls.  Issues such as prohibition and divorce certainly haven’t gone the way of the church’s teachings.  It appears as though the issue of gay marriage is also headed that way as well.  I believe that the church needs to be more concerned about preaching salvation and changing lives in that way rather than continually preach to non-Christians about what the Bible says.  Non-Christians have no reason to respect what the Bible says but we continue to preach sin rather than salvation.

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